(CNN) Michelle Yeoh has won Best Actress at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win the award.
Yeoh, who won the trophy for her acclaimed performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” has also entered the history books for becoming the first Malaysian-born performer to be honored with a Best Actress Oscar.
Yeoh is the fifth person of Asian descent to win an Oscar in an acting category and the first to win in a lead actor category.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me to see tonight, this is a beacon of hope and opportunity. This is proof that dream big and dreams do come true,” Yeoh gushed as he accepted his Oscar.
She added: “Ladies, don’t let anyone tell you that you are ever past your prime.”
Yeoh dedicated her Oscar to her mother and “all mothers in the world, because they really are the superheroes, and without them, none of us would be here tonight.”
In “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Yeoh portrayed Evelyn Wang, a beleaguered Asian-American immigrant who runs a laundromat and is confronted with the dizzying prospect of infinite possible lives as part of the multiverse. As she navigates this bizarre new terrain and gains extraordinary new powers, she must come to terms with a rift in her family that ultimately poses a serious existential threat—all while also facing a tax audit.
Upon learning of her history-making nomination for the film in January, Yeoh told The Hollywood Reporter that “it’s taken a long time. But I think it’s more than me.” She also mentioned that constantly, “Asians (walk) up to me and say, ‘You can do it, you do it for us.’ It’s like, “I understand. I understand completely.” All this time they have not been recognized, they have not been heard.”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” also stars Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, who both won in their respective supporting actress categories on Sunday night.
In total, the film won seven Academy Awards out of 11 nominations, including Best Picture. Among other wins, “Everything Everywhere” earned Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for the duo of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.